Panna Rittikrai, Thai action movie legend and trainer to such stars as Tony Jaa, JeeJa Yanin, and up and comer Marrese Crump passed away yesterday at the age of 51. Rittikrai became famous on an international scale as the action choreographer for Tony Jaa’s debut film, Ong Bak. The wire free Thai Boxing and stunt masterpiece put the Thai action film on the world map and introduced many fans to an alternative to Hong Kong action cinema.
Rittikrai also directed such movies as Ong Bak 2 and Ong Bak 3, Bangkok Knockout, and handled choreography duty on Tom Yum Gong ( The Protector) and the fight-filled Chocolate starring JeeJa Yanin. Rittikrai had been working in the Thai Film industry since 1979. He was involved in upcoming projects featuring Marrese Crump and his latest work was on Vengeance of an Assassin. Panna Rittikrai will be sorely missed by the fans of martial arts movies around the world; he will be remembered for leaving an incredible style of action using the Thai martial arts as well as training current and future stars of action films. Rest in peace, Master.
For more information Panna Rittikrai check out this article by the Bangkok Post here.